Delhiwale: Meet the scientist with poetic instincts
Ranjana Agrawal spent her entire life in a profession far from the world of literature. Her natural instinct for poetry, however, never got muted.delhi Updated: Nov 15, 2017 14:15 IST
Her fridge is from 1977. Her dining table dates back to 1983. The sky blue Maruti 800 is from 1985. The sofa is from 1987.
But poet Ranjana Agrawal’s house is new. In fact, she moved to north Delhi this July. “I’d been so occupied with its construction that it was tough to find time for poems but, of course, I continued writing.”
In her late 60s, Ms Agrawal has spent all her life in subjects far from the world of literature — she retired as a principal scientist in the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute.
“I received kavita (poetry) in my life as an inheritance.” Her mother, Shanti Agrawal, too is a poet.
It’s a coincidence that while Ms Agrawal lives alone, her first collection of poems is appropriately titled Bheed Se Hatkar, or Far from the Crowd.
The book was published a decade ago, and since then, many of her later poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies and magazines. As with most poets, Ms Agrawal’s instinct for poetry is mysterious.
“Poetry happens by itself. Many a times they come as a revelation... sometimes they first write themselves in the mind... when I was still working as a scientist, an idea would strike me in an office meeting and I would immediately pen down a few lines on the back of my notepad...”. Ms Agrawal shares one of her poems, as translated from Hindi, with us:
Dialogue between heart and body is fading
And yet we continue consulting our egos
Selfish ends are blessed with longevity
The higher values of life have turned into mirages
The destinations are hazy, the journey is tiring
And yet we continue worshipping our egos
All the hymns for peace are forgotten
In memories are sorrows, sorrows and sorrows
Long broken is the bond of eyes with sleep
And yet we continue practicing our egos
The heart is grabbed like Abhimanyu in a trap
Each heart beat like distressed Arjuna seeks Krishna
Krishna, who would show the path to self realization
And yet we continue building our egos
First Published: Nov 15, 2017 13:26 IST